New Delhi: Its an uphill task from here on for Delhi Daredevils. With their confidence severely dented after suffering six consecutive defeats, basement dwellers Delhi take on the star-studded Mumbai Indians side in game 28 of IPL 6 at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Super Sunday. Mumbai come into this match after being humbled by Rajastan Royals in their previous encounter which pushed them to fifth on the points table.
Languishing at the bottom of the table, Delhi need nothing less than a miracle to turn things around in their favour and stay in the hunt for the play-offs. For reasons why Delhi are winless, look at their batting. Big names like Virender Sehwag, David Warner and the captain Mahela Jayawardene have failed upfront and that has put pressure on their middle order, which is without the injured Kevin Pietersen and Jessy Ryder. The likes of Jeevan Mendis, Johan Botha and Andre Russell are trusted allrounders but have not been able to help the team in the middle and death overs. The young Indian pair of Kedar Jadhav and Manprit Juneja have tried to salvage some pride but it has been too much for them.
The bowling has also not been that great. Irfan Pathan, Albie Morkel and Umesh Yadav appear low on confidence and have been inconsistent. The left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem have performed in patches.
On the other hand, having won three out of their five matches, Mumbai skipper Ricky Ponting will be hoping to get back to winning ways and show some consistency. Sachin Tendulkar and Ponting, boasting 61,756 international runs between them, have struggled to put up consistent starts. Twice they have put on 50-plus stands but their three other alliances have been worth 3, 0 and 4. Ponting spoke after the defeat to Rajasthan of how he and Tendulkar "haven't done the job required off them by the team" and stressed on the importance for the two legendary batsmen to step up, in particular himself.
Thankfully for the team, Dinesh Karthik and Rohit Sharma have clicked more often than they have failed. But Mumbai would hope for more from allrounder Kieron Pollard who has been inconsistent.
With Lasith Malinga joining the squad, Mumbai's bowling wears a lethal look. Even though they struggled against Rajasthan the other day, the likes of Mitchell Johnson, Pragyan Ojha, Harbhajan Singh and Pollard give them the variety and the options on any surface.
Delhi Daredevils: 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 David Warner, 3 Mahela Jayawardene (capt), 4 Manpreet Juneja, 5 Kedar Jadhav, 6 Johan Botha/Andre Russell/Jeevan Mendis, 7 Irfan Pathan, 8 Albie Morkel, 9 Ajit Agarkar, 10 Umesh Yadav, 11 Shahbaz Nadeem
Mumbai Indians: 1 Sachin Tendulkar, 2 Ricky Ponting (capt), 3 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 Ambati Rayudu, 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Rishi Dhawan, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Mitchell Johnson 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Pragyan Ojha